Congressional Use of the Program Assessment Rating Tool


  • Velda Frisco is a doctoral candidate at the Department of Political Science, West Virginia University, 316 Woodburn Hall, PO Box 6317, Morgantown, WV 26506-6317. She can be reached at: Odd J. Stalebrink is an associate professor at the Pennsylvania State University at Harrisburg, School of Public Affairs, W160 Olmstead Building, 777 W. Harrisburg Pike, Middletown, PA 17057. He can be reached at:


This paper seeks to advance knowledge about congressional use of the program assessment rating tool (PART) in the 109th Congress. The research suggest that both congressional chambers use PART on a limited basis; affirms that congressional committees are exposed to PART scores through congressional budget justification score inclusion and in federal agency testimony; and that use was primarily driven by non-congressional actors.